When: Thu., April 11, 6 p.m. 2013
The 2012 mixtape that elevated 18-year-old Brooklyn rapper Joey Bada$$ to the status of Next Big Thing was called 1999, and it featured beats by producers who helped define hip-hop’s sonics back then, such as Madlib and J Dilla. But 1999 borrows more extensively from the decade or so that preceded its namesake year. Though Bada$$ wasn’t even born till after the so-called golden age of hip-hop had ended, he’s got a serious case of nostalgia for the New York artists of the early 90s who embodied it (and a similarly vintage-inspired fashion sense). Both 1999 and its follow-up, Rejex, are littered with nods to the likes of Eric B & Rakim, EPMD, and A Tribe Called Quest, as well as a few beats by old-school legend Lord Finesse. Hip-hop has spent decades with its eyes trained on the future, with only occasional glances over its shoulder, so Joey Bada$$ might end up being its first artist to turn a heavily retro aesthetic into real stardom—and his spot in XXL magazine’s 2013 Freshmen issue suggests he’s well on his way. —Miles Raymer Pro Era, the Flatbush Zombies, the Underachievers, and DJ Statik Selektah open.